The rise of the indies over five years of Kindle in the UK

Rachel Abbott is the top-selling indie Kindle author in the UK and has sold over a million ebooks worlwide.

Indie authors have prospered in the five years since Amazon opened its Kindle store in the UK, with its No 1 seller being self-published initially and half a dozen other indies making it into the top 100 best-selling Kindle writers over the half-decade.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Kindle EU, says, “During the last five years we have not only seen established authors succeed on Kindle, but also enjoyed watching the rise of independent authors, who are reaching a global audience and earning royalties of up to 70% along the way.”

At the UK launch in August 2010, there was one Kindle e-reader and 400,000 titles in the Kindle store while now there is a wide range of e-readers, tablets and apps and nearly four million ebooks.

Rachel Abbott is the best-selling UK Kindle Direct Publishing indie author. Her first thriller, Only the Innocent, hit the Kindle top spot in February 2012 and she’s sold over a million ebooks on Kindle since then, published a further three titles and has three books in the top 10 titles by Kindle indies.

She says, “Since the day I published my first book to Kindle, my feet haven’t touched the ground. In 2010, I had retired and I thought the future was going to be one of relaxation, except that I wanted to write a book for my own pleasure. One day I decided to publish it to see what might happen, and that decision was life-changing.

“I’m now writing my fifth novel, have sold well over a million copies of the first four, and have a new full-time career as an author. Nobody, least of all me, could have seen that coming, but I’m loving every minute of it.”

Tracy Bloom, author of the best-selling No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, is the second most popular UK indie author, and Nick Alexander, author of the best-selling Fifty Reasons series, is third.

The leading UK Kindle title is EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, which was originally self-published through KDP in 2011. The top 10 also includes Sylvia Day, who initially self-published her big seller, Bared To You.

Top-selling indie Kindle authors

  • Rachel Abbott (14th overall)

  • Tracy Bloom (47th overall)

  • Nick Alexander (49th overall)

  • Nick Spalding (52nd overall)

  • Kerry Wilkinson (53rd overall)

  • Stephen Leather (76th overall)

  • Katia Lief (101st overall)

  • Paul Pilkington (103rd overall)

  • Mark Edwards (105th overall)

  • JS Scott (111th overall)

Top-selling indie books on Kindle

  • Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott (43rd overall)

  • Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott (55th overall)

  • No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom (59th overall)

  • The Half-Life Of Hannah by Nick Alexander  (66th overall)

  • Love… From Both Sides by Nick Spalding (74th overall)

  • Locked In by Kerry Wilkinson (86th overall)

  • The Back Road by Rachel Abbott (89th overall)

  • The Basement by Stephen Leather (110th  overall)

  • The Magpies by Mark Edwards (113th overall)

  • Single Woman Seeks Revenge by Tracy Bloom (137th overall)